S.K. Perry’s remarkable debut novel chosen for City Reads 2019

‘I have a deep love for Brighton and Hove and feel really moved that through City Reads, Let Me Be Like Water will reach more of the city’s readers. It’s such an honour, and I really can’t wait!’
S.K. Perry – City Reads author 2019

We are delighted to reveal that S.K. Perry’s beautiful debut novel, published by Melville House UK, has been chosen as this year’s BIG READ for Brighton and Hove.

Having impulsively escaped to Brighton following the death of her boyfriend Sam, songwriter Holly is now in a state of limbo. The solitude she had so craved in London leaves her feeling stranded and alone in her grief. It is when she meets Frank, a retired gay magician that the tide begins to turn.  Frank has experienced his own heartbreak and offers Holly companionship and solace.

Gradually, as she is introduced to his eclectic group of friends, all with their own stories, she starts to heal. Let Me Be Like Water is a book simultaneously about nothing and everything: about the humdrum yet extraordinariness of everyday life; of lost and new connections; of loneliness and friendship. 

‘A wonderful debut novel about how we find our feet again after a bereavement. It’s one of the best evocations of the grieving process I’ve read and is written in a fluid engaging style that draws you in to the protagonist Holly’s world.’ The Guardian


  • 23 April 2019  – City Reads launches on World Book Night
  • 12 May 2019 – S.K. Perry in conversation with Bridget Minamore at Brighton Festival  – Tickets go on sale on 22 Feb 2019

From its launch on World Book Night (23 April) to the final event at Brighton Festival on 12 May, there will be a wide range of activities on offer, aimed at encouraging residents across the city (and beyond) to get reading and start talking.

HIGHLIGHTS include: the return of our free World Book Night Book Swap at Jubilee Library (23 April), a special literary salon: ’Amongst Friends’,  hosted by writer Heidi James (2 May), a special City Reads Supper Club at award winning Starfish and Coffee and of course S.K. Perry, live at Brighton Festival for the City Reads finale on Sunday 12 May, in conversation with poet, critic, essayist, and journalist Bridget Minamore.

Sarah Hutchings – Artistic Director, City Reads commented:
Let Me Be Like Water is an exquisite, lyrical meditation on grief and romantic loss.   As soon as I started reading it I was struck by the grace and strength of Sarah’s writing. She writes about Brighton with heart and passion, using the city’s glorious imperfections to remind us all why we are drawn here. It was a joy to read. We are delighted to be welcoming Sarah to Brighton & Hove in May to discuss this dazzling, poignant novel with readers across the City.’

Andrew Comben, Chief Executive of Brighton Dome & Brighton Festival said:
‘We’re pleased to include City Reads as part of our Festival programme again this year – building on our strong relationship with Collected Works CIC through projects such as Young City Reads and Adopt an Author. We look forward to S.K. Perry’s appearance at the Festival in May and would encourage readers to dive into her inspiring novel over the next few months.’

Nikki Griffiths, Managing Director, Melville House UK said:
We are excited and thrilled that S.K. Perry’s beautifully moving debut novel Let Me Be Like Water has been chosen for this year’s City Reads. Set in Brighton, it tells the story of Holly who is trying to start her life over after her boyfriend dies. It explores grief and loneliness, the importance of friendship and the passage of time. Sarah gives feeling and life not just to her characters, but to the structure and form of the novel and the vivid descriptive atmosphere Brighton’s coastal setting allows. I hope it resonates with Brighton readers and that they take Holly into their hearts.’  


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